This is Why Your Two-Year-Old doesn't "Smile" for the Camera (And how to get them to do it!) - Paris Family Portraits

I wish I could say that every child I've ever met has been 100% comfortable with me at once upon meeting.. but it's just not true. Most of the time little kids under 2.5 don't really understand why they're meeting this new person and assume I'm the baby sitter and their parents are leaving.

Right at the beginning I always reassure all the kids that mom and dad aren't going ANYWHERE and that i'm just here to hang out with them and play some games. I like to start with the whole family to show the kids that mom and dad are sticking around and aren't about to disappear...

This session was no different! The little one was so nervous at first and didn't really trust me, so what did we do? start with family photos and do some swinging and jumping around.. all of a sudden this little flower bud blossomed like the most beautiful peony and we had the BEST time together. And all we had to do was play.

It's the trick to getting great portraits with littles.. You can't expect them to sit and smile, it's just not how they work, you have to give them a reason to hang out with you and smile!

Here are a few fun things that I LOVE adding into sessions:

- Bubbles

- Balloons

- picnics

- running races

- jumping

What to do in Paris With Teenagers II Paris Family Photography Studio, Katie Donnelly Photography

Whenever we get requests for family photo sessions with teenagers it's always a nice surprise. Somewhere along the line (and I think this is just about the time where kids start talking back to their parents, ha!) families take fewer and fewer photos together. This one is at soccer practice, this one has piano, this one is sleeping over at her friend's house and all of a sudden you realize you haven't had the whole family around the dinner table since last Sunday.

Family vacations with teenagers, especially when you have multiple kids, are limited usually with the balancing act of schedules and who's going off to college. Having a photo session during them can be an amazing way to document such a fleeting time in your lives. 

I read a study once saying that children with family photographs hanging in their homes had a stronger sense of a family unit and felt more secure in their relationships. I truly believe this. Especially into the harder years of being a teenager and unsure of your place in the world, it's important to know your place at home is with your family. It's important to show that you've loved your kids from the time of being silly, cheeky, mischievous little shrimps to inquisitive, still silly, and intelligent adults. Even though they've changed and grown into their own beings, your love for them has only gotten more complex. 

So that said, number one on the KDP list of things to do in Paris with Teenagers is, you guessed it, Have a family photo session!

Here's a list of 5 ideas for Paris with teens:

  1. Family Vacation Photo Session. Get in touch here to book yours!
  2. Let them explore a smaller neighborhood, like the marais, or the latin quarter, on their own. Give a starting place (like a restaurant or central café like Shakespeare and Company Café) that you'll find each other afterward. A half hour or hour can be the perfect time to explore on their own. If you're nervous, stay and grab a coffee in the café so if they want to come back early, they'll know where to find you. 
  3. Shopping. Perfect areas for boutique shopping are in the Marais on Rue des Rosiers or by Saint Germain des Pres on Rue de Rennes. 
  4. Let them plan a day out of their own where you guys follow them. It's their vacation too!
  5. Picnic in a local garden like the Tuileries, the Jardin du Luxembourg, or Versailles. This is the perfect time to bring yummy cheeses, charcuterie and chips. It's a way that everyone can be happy, relax and enjoy the french culture through their amazing food. 

Enjoy Paris!

Katie

Welcome to the Family, Valeriya! Meet KDP's New Associate Photographer!

It’s been a long time coming, but it’s with so much pride and happiness that KDP is expanding and welcoming Valeriya to the team as an associate photographer!

While this is still very much a mom and pop’s operation (well, just a “mom” operation because KDP is my baby), with every new season there is new growth and expansion. I’ve been blessed with the most incredible clients (I literally cannot say that enough, you guys freaking rock my world!) and so much so, that I need help keeping up. I especially help when I’m shooting in the states and can’t be in Paris or on vacation (like during my upcoming wedding and honeymoon this summer!). Valeriya has already been here in the background helping and I think it’s time to formally introduce her in all her beauty, talent and hard work. I’m beyond excited to have her photographing for KDP this summer and hopefully in the future! 

So, along with popping some internet champagne (cheers guys!), here’s a little interview to get to know this lovely soul and one of her recent shoots. I’m beyond excited to have her on the KDP team, we are already booking shoots for her at the end of June through July and August, but if you’d like to request her specifically, just get in touch here.  

 

Name: 

Valeriya

The loveliest Valeriya in all her glory!

The loveliest Valeriya in all her glory!

Describe yourself in three words:

Dreamy, silly (weird humor, I find the funny in everything), driven

 

What languages do you speak?

Dutch, Russian and English(and learning French!)

 

How did you start in photography?

I actually painted as long as I can remember, I didn't ever think I would do anything else. Until painting didn't give me the satisfaction I needed. By that I mean that I always wanted topaint exactly the thing I saw (with every little detail) but it just never ever worked out for me. (I’m just a little biiittt a perfectionist) So in the meantime I was taking photographs with my moms little pocketcamera of my BEAUTIFUL friends and landscapes and not realising that this was the solution or future passion or anything of that kind. By the age of 19 (when graduated from highschool) I had to choose what to study and I really don't know why, I chose photography (because I never tought of it as something to make a living of). And it finally gave me this satisfaction of "representing" reality with a twist, by that I mean my point of view. And I think this was one of my best choices ever. 

 

Tell me something you're passionate about?

Romance! And fashion, I just love clothes, all of them.

 

Where are your top 3 places you love going in paris?

Petit Palais is my happy place, Palais Royal and l'Orangerie with Monet's Water Lilies.

 

What's one thing you always recommend your clients do to prep for their shoot?

NEVER ever ever ever to put on prints on T-shirts. (Or to buy them in general :D )

 

What makes you happy?

Puppies.

 

Coffee or tea?

Can't live without either.

 

Ice cream or cake?

Cake.

 

What's one awesome thing you love about yourself?

My skill to cook a decent meal almost out of nothing.

 

Welcome to the KDP family! 

 

Here are a few of my favorite photographs she did of Pyk and I last year:

 

Here is a stunning family session that V recently photographed:

Chelsea, Spencer, and Elena the pup: An Eiffel Tower, Pont Neuf Couples Photo Session

This is one of my favorite recent sessions from this winter! We had a pretty warm winter with a few weeks of cold/windy here and there. Thankfully, the morning of our session with Spencer, Chelsey and their pup, Elena, wasn't too cold!

They are living here in Paris for the year for Spencer's work (he's a pro-basketball player) and they wanted to have some beautiful memories to put in their home to remember this time! We started out our photo session at the iconic Eiffel Tower and Trocadéro neighborhoods, venturing through the Champs de Mars and then heading over towards one of my favorite spots to photograph: Pont Neuf and Ile de la Cité.

I absolutely loved that they wore a more fancy look as well as a more casual look. Staying true to your personalities in what you wear makes you SO much more comfortable in your photos. You should feel confident and comfortable in your outfit. Portrait photography is about storytelling, and showing your personalities and life right at this moment. C+S will soon head home after this basketball season and next season head to a new city and/or country. This time is so incredibly special for them because it's so fleeting. They may never live in Paris again but every time they look at these beautiful memories on their walls and in the beautiful album we designed for them, they'll be able to look back and remember this time, maybe even showing their future kids and grandchildren someday. They're not only making memories but creating family heirlooms.

It's important to remember and document our histories, where we come from, and what we love. It's what we have to look back on when we're old and wrinkled with laugh lines to remind us that we lived a life of love and joy. The enormity of documenting and making art to celebrate that legacy isn't something that's lost on me. And I know the value isn't lost on you either.

xx K

P.S. Doggies are ALWAYS welcome in KDP family portraits! They're important members of the family, too!

Spring/Fall Photo Session Outfit Inspiration at the Eiffel Tower (And the cutest family!!) II Family Photographer in Paris, Katie Donnelly

Spring is here my friend (I say that as I can still see my breath in the air in the early AM, HA!) and it's time to start thinking about booking your spring and summer photo sessions and what to wear to them. With kids, especially littles, they have to be warm to be comfortable and having a good time. To make sure they're warm, and still super cute, I recommend lots of layers and to bring blankets or scarves to wrap around you guys! It's a really cute addition to the photos and brings in a bit of color if your outfits are less-colorful.

Here is a session from this fall that was PERFECT! The outfits didn't cover anyone (notice that the little guy doesn't have any collars so they can't get in front of his face when he's squirming around) and everyone was cute and warm enough. Vests are great for this as well as items that you can easily take on and off like hats and scarves! Here below are some of my favorite pieces to inspire you (and to shop if you really love them!!)